The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - FOOD & DRINK -

2 grouse, hung if pos­si­ble Olive oil Grated nut­meg, to sea­son 2 fresh thyme sprigs 2 hand­fuls of bram­bles or black­ber­ries 4 rash­ers of good-qual­ity dry-smoked streaky ba­con A splash of whiskey A knob of un­salted but­ter Re­move the grouse from the fridge 30 min­utes be­fore cook­ing, to reach room tem­per­a­ture. Rub with oil and sea­son in­side and out with salt, pep­per and nut­meg. Stuff with the thyme and half the bram­bles. Truss with string. Fry the ba­con in a lid­ded pan (un­cov­ered) over a high heat for a few min­utes, un­til it starts to crisp up. Re­move, then add the grouse, brown­ing all over in the ba­con fat, adding more oil if needed. Drape the ba­con over the grouse and add a splash of whisky to the pan. Light the al­co­hol care­fully with a match. Once the flames have died down, put the rest of the bram­bles in the pan. Pop the lid on and cook the grouse on a medium heat for 1015 min­utes, un­til cooked but still pink in­side. Spoon the bram­bles out of the birds and into the pan. Re­move the grouse from the pan and keep warm. Mash the bram­bles into the pan juices. Turn up the heat and re­duce till thick­ened. Take the pan off the heat, whisk in the but­ter and spike with a few drops of whisky. Cut the string from the grouse and serve with the sauce.

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